Cranberry Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I hadn’t made anything with fresh cranberries yet this year, so I decided it was time to do something about that! Plus, I still needed to make more mini-loaves for holiday giving. My Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread turned out well, so I decided to try making some pumpkin bread with fresh cranberries added in–it sounded like a great combination for the holidays! These loaves baked up so nicely, with rounded tops and a dense, moist texture. The fresh cranberries add to the moistness and flavor.

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This recipe will make one 9 x 5″ loaf or three 5 x 3″ mini loaves…or double the recipe and make a large loaf for you and your family and 3 mini loaves for giving away! If you do double the recipe, make sure you use an extra-large bowl for easier mixing.

CRANBERRY PUMPKIN BREAD AND MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes one (9 x 5″) loaf or three (5 x 3″) mini loaves

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil (or non-GMO canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour one 9 x 5″ loaf pan or three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together; then add the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, blend the pumpkin puree, light olive oil, and eggs, mixing well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients in large bowl, blending well (batter will be thick). Fold in the chopped cranberries, stirring until evenly distributed in batter.

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

For 9 x 5″ loaf: Bake at 350˚F for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For 3 mini loaves: Bake at 350˚F for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan or pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

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If you’re giving these loaves as gifts, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and add a ribbon around them tied in a knot or bow to make them look extra special! For inspiration, see these wrapped mini loaves here.

I still have more holiday baking I need to do–wish I had more time! Are you getting all the baking done you want to this season?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy and Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it for quite some time and I thought while I was at it, I’d make some mini-loaves too. Mini-loaves make great food gifts for the holidays, and just about everyone I know loves pumpkin bread and chocolate chips. So you can’t go wrong when you put them together! This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so good and moist, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite, so if you’re a chocolate lover you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to use the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips–they work really well in this recipe. It makes either one large 9 x 5″ loaf or three 5 x 3″ mini loaves–or you can double the recipe and make both sizes–that way you can keep one for your family and give the rest as gifts–a win-win for everyone! :) Use an extra-large bowl for mixing if you do decide to make a double batch!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN BREAD AND MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf or three (5 x 3″) mini loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour one 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, blending well; then add the spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, blend the pumpkin puree and softened butter, and then the eggs, mixing well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in large bowl, blending well. Fold in mini chocolate chips, stirring until evenly distributed in batter.

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

For 9 x 5″ loaf: Bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For 3 mini loaves: Bake at 350˚F for 32 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan or pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

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If you’re giving these loaves as gifts, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and add a ribbon around them tied in a knot or bow to make them look extra special–just like little mini-gifts! I always seem to have ribbon on hand and I also save pretty fabric ribbons from gifts I’ve received–these usually are the perfect size for tying around homemade loaves!

Do you make food gifts for the holidays? What do you like to make?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy and Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom.

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10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup of some other yummy Sweet Potato recipes I’ve made with you!

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These Sweet Potato Biscuits are just the thing for breakfast, with eggs, and they’re also great for lunch or dinner with your main dish and sides!

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Same for these Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins–good any time of day!

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Sweet Potato Bread is nice for breakfast, too, or later in the day as a snack.

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For a delicious side dish, these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes are wonderful!

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Another side, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, are really tasty, and there are a variety of ways you can make them!

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I really like these Roasted Italian Potatoes, which are made with both sweet and regular potatoes.

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This Sausage Potato Bake, a yummy dish for lunch or dinner, is also a two-potato recipe, made with both sweet potatoes and red new potatoes.

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When you’re ready for dessert, you need to try this decadent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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And this Sweet Potato Pound Cake is pretty amazing, too!

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Last but not least, here’s the Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie I made this past Thanksgiving–a very easy recipe and so good!

Hope you enjoy trying these sweet potato recipes out!

Linked to I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Apple-Zucchini Bread

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Apple-Zucchini Bread just seems so perfect for this time of year–early fall is when I’m inspired to bake apple-flavored things! This recipe not only has apples, but zucchini, too, which is great–you can never have enough good zucchini recipes for all that … Continue reading

Banana-Zucchini Bread

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If you imagined what Banana-Zucchini Bread would be like, you’d probably guess that it would be moist, because it has both zucchini and bananas in it, after all. And you would be right–about this recipe, anyway. It has the perfect moist texture–not overly … Continue reading

Blackberry Banana Bread

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It was just a matter of time before I made this Blackberry Banana Bread, since I love trying different banana bread recipes and blackberry season is in full swing! This recipe makes a nice, full loaf that is dense and moist and full … Continue reading

Blueberry Oat Banana Bread

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When blueberry season comes around, I love baking with those fresh berries! So I thought I’d try combining blueberries and bananas in a bread, and I also decided to add a little oatmeal–I thought oatmeal would give it a nice texture and … Continue reading

Whole Wheat Honey Banana Bread

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The first time I made this banana bread, the weather was chilly and rainy…the perfect time for baking! As I’ve mentioned before, I like trying out different banana bread recipes and decided to try a whole wheat version that I found on … Continue reading

Banana Bread (Inspired by the Disneyland Hotel)

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I was in a banana bread-making mood last weekend. And I just so happened to come across this recipe at Food.com, where they mentioned that this banana bread is served at the Disneyland Hotel. Not having ever stayed there myself, I hadn’t ever tasted their banana bread, but it sounded like a great recipe to try! After all, I’m sure they serve wonderful food at the Disneyland Hotel, right down to their banana bread. :)

I made a few small changes to the recipe and decided to add some pecans to it, too. My baking time was also a little less than what the original recipe had mentioned. This is a really good basic banana bread with a rich, buttery taste, so if you have some ripe bananas you will need to keep this recipe in mind! The batter is thick and creamy and bakes into 2 yummy 8 x 4″ loaves. And believe me, you will be glad you have 2 loaves of this banana bread to enjoy!

BANANA BREAD (INSPIRED BY THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL),  slightly adapted from Food.com

Makes two 8 x 4″ loaves

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing everything well.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients, a third at a time, to mixture in large bowl, stirring until everything is well blended. Fold in chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Spoon batter in equal amounts into two 8 x 4″ loaf pans and bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

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Or, if you want to eat this banana bread warm, let it cool for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes–it will be easier to slice if you let it cool a little.

I’ve been to Disneyland, but not Disney World. I haven’t stayed at any of the Disney Resort Hotels, but I’m sure they would be wonderful! Have any of you stayed at a Disney Hotel and have you had their banana bread?

I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread

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I had some very ripe bananas a few days ago, so naturally I thought of making banana bread. But I wanted to try something different. I’ve been seeing recipes with pomegranate seeds quite a bit, and I finally tried some. I love the way they taste, so juicy with a light sweetness, and a little crunchiness to them, too (that’s the inner seed part). And I hear they’re so good for you! So I decided to try them in banana bread and add some walnuts…and that’s how I came up with this Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread. It’s very dense and moist, with a light sweetness from the pomegranate seeds and the Light Cream Glaze. The pomegranate seeds and the walnuts give this bread a crunchy texture, too, so it’s a bread you’ll want to chew on a bit more. I really liked it–if you like pomegranate seeds, I think you’ll like this, too! If you haven’t ever eaten pomegranate seeds, here’s a helpful article that tells you more about them at LiveStrong.com.

Seeding the pomegranate can take a little time since there are quite a few seeds in there, so if you don’t have the time or interest in seeding a pomegranate, you can buy pomegranate seeds in the produce section of many grocery stores, or even at some Sam’s Clubs (although it’s definitely cheaper to seed your own pomegranate). The juicy outer parts of the seeds are called Arils–you may see the packaging labeled like that. Also, I recommend greasing and flouring your pan, even if it’s nonstick, because this loaf is so dense and moist, it could easily stick to the bottom of the pan if you didn’t. I greased and floured my pan, and it came out very easily, so it pays to do that!

POMEGRANATE WALNUT BANANA BREAD by NancyCreative

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • seeds from 1 large pomegranate, divided (about 2 cups total–use 1 2/3 cups in the batter, and save the rest for sprinkling on top of the bread after it’s glazed and on each individual slice when serving)
  • Light Cream glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder.

In medium bowl, beat the eggs, then add in the oil, Half & Half (light cream), and vanilla, blending well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, mixing everything well.

Fold in the mashed bananas, blending well, then blend in the chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Bake at 350˚F  for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

When cake is completely cool or just slightly warm, top with the Light Cream glaze…

LIGHT CREAM GLAZE

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish (sprinkle some on top of the loaf and some on each slice when serving)

Mix confectioner’s sugar and Half & Half together until well-blended and smooth. Drizzle over loaf. Sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds on top of the glaze and let set before serving; sprinkle the rest of the seeds on each slice when serving.

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I’m so glad I finally gave pomegranate seeds a try! Have you made any recipes with them?

Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread with Butterscotch Drizzle

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I haven’t made banana bread for some time, so I decided to try making an autumny type of banana bread with butterscotch chips and pecans–for some reason, I tend to make more butterscotch-flavored things in the fall! I chopped up the butterscotch chips so they would be lighter and more evenly distributed in the batter, and I really liked the way this Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread turned out! It’s dense and moist with a nice blend of banana-butterscotch flavor. I also made a butterscotch drizzle to go on top, because a little drizzle of extra sweetness never hurts, does it? It’s kind of like a “hard-shell” drizzle and will break off a little as you cut the loaf, but it gives the top of the loaf just the right amount of butterscotch sweetness!

BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN BANANA BREAD WITH BUTTERSCOTCH DRIZZLE by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, coarsely chopped–measure out the 3/4 cup before you chop them (Note: chill them in your fridge before you chop them; that makes them easier to chop!)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (measure them out after you’ve chopped the nuts)

Butterscotch Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside (if your pan is not non-stick, you may want to dust it with flour, too).

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg. and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, eggs, and melted butter, blending well. Add in the greek yogurt and blend everything well.

Add the flour mixture, half the amount at a time, to the banana mixture and mix just until everything is blended together. Fold in the coarsely chopped butterscotch chips and finely chopped pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing, then cool completely on wire rack. When loaf has cooled, top with Butterscotch Drizzle.

To make the Butterscotch Drizzle, place butterscotch chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat for another 30 seconds and stir again, until melted chips are smooth and creamy. If the chips aren’t quite melted enough, heat another 15 to 30 seconds and stir. Add in the coconut oil and blend well. Immediately drizzle over cooled loaf, then sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Let glaze set about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

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I didn’t realize butterscotch and bananas made such a great combination! Have you made anything with these two ingredients before?

Six of My Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

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Every autumn I get in the pumpkin-baking mood. Here are some of my favorite recipes I’ve posted before–if you haven’t seen them already, you may want to check them out!

Pam’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake (above)…a large, moist, yummy cake topped with rich cream cheese frosting!

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Pumpkin Cornbread or Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins…great for a fall breakfast or brunch!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting…a great autumn cupcake!

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Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream…tastes great with or without the frosting–you can serve it for breakfast or brunch unfrosted, or serve it for dessert with the frosting!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread…another pumpkin bread, with a delicious cream cheese filling!

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Double-Glazed Pumpkin Scones…a real treat any time of day!

Have you been doing lots of pumpkin-baking? Let me know if you try any of these out!

Linked to Foodie Friday.

Chocolate Chip-Cherry Banana Bread

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I love trying different variations on banana bread–there seem to be so many! I’ve made a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread before, which is really yummy, so when I saw a recipe at BetterHomesandGardens.com for a banana bread with both chocolate chips and cherries in it, I knew I needed to try it out! I made some changes to the recipe, including using a little more chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips. This quick bread is such a treat and if you want a more elaborate treat, you can add a scoop of vanilla or cherry ice cream on top of a warmed, thick slice of this bread and drizzle chocolate or hot fudge sauce over it all!

Another thing about this bread is that I think it tastes even better after a day or two. It comes out of the oven a little on the crusty side, but when it’s completely cooled, wrapped, and refrigerated overnight, it moistens up and the flavor seems a little more enhanced somehow. You can also freeze this–it thaws out well and tastes great!

CHOCOLATE CHIP–CHERRY BANANA BREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from BetterHomesandGardens.com

Makes a 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 small-to-medium bananas)
  • 12 Maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Lightly spray or grease a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream), eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir in mashed bananas.

Add  yogurt (or sour cream) mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean–be careful not to overbake, or the bread will be dry. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Creative Time Out.

Irish Soda Bread

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Whenever St. Patrick’s Day comes around, I see different recipes for Irish Soda Bread and I finally decided to try making it this year. I found a recipe at Kraft that sounded good and it looked pretty easy, too. I modified it slightly and was happy with how it turned out! It has a lightly sweet taste that kind of reminds me of a scone. I think it’s great with butter and jam, although it’s also good without anything on it because the raisins in the bread and the sugar sprinkled on top give it a lightly sweet taste. If you don’t have time to make it for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a great recipe to keep in mind for brunch any time of the year!

IRISH SODA BREAD by NancyCreative, slightly adapted from KraftRecipes.com

Makes 1 round loaf

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and raisins; stir just until moistened.

Place dough on lightly floured surface; knead 10 times. Shape dough into a 2 1/2″ thick slightly dome-shaped round; place on prepared baking sheet. Cut a  1/2″ deep “X” in top of dough and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 350˚F for 47 to 52 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 52 minutes and probably could have baked it a few minutes less). Remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool completely before cutting into wedges and serve (this tastes great warm, too, so go ahead and serve it warm if you want–it just may not slice as easily).

NOTE: You can store leftover bread in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours; for longer storage, wrap bread tightly and freeze up to 2 months–thaw at room temperature before serving.

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Have you made any special Irish recipes this year?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.